Away from prying eyes: this creative DIY privacy screen lets you keep yourself to yourself
- Cost50-100 £
- Duration1-3 h
Do you love spending time in the garden, on the balcony or on the patio? Then you probably also want to take this time for yourself and enjoy your privacy. No problem: We’ll show you how to build a stylish, creative privacy screen – that you can even expand – in just a few simple steps that looks great and shields you from prying eyes.
It should go without saying that your safety is paramount throughout every step of the project, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find an overview of the correct protective clothing you need when using each type of tool here:
Let's go - step by step
Saw the wooden beams to length
You need: NanoBlade saw, NanoBLADE Wood Speed 65, Digital Laser Measure Zamo (Set), Multi-sander, Sanding sheet for multi-sander G120, g-clamps, pocket rule, 2 wooden beams made from Douglas fir (70 x 45 mm each)
We are only going to show you the steps to build a one-metre module for a privacy screen. That way, you’ll still be able to design your own privacy screen however you like and adapt it to your circumstances. The greater the amount of space you have to cover, the greater the number of modules you can build and connect together at the end.
First things first: start by sawing the crossbeams to the right length.
In our case, we’ve measured 1,200 mm for this. One module requires two beams in this length.
Then, sand the sawn edges.
Attach the slats
Now, lie the two wooden beams you sawed to length 1,300 mm apart on your work surface.
Then, place two wooden slats on the two beams: In our case, the slats are 800 mm apart and each one protrudes 200 mm over the lower end (picture one).
Next, fasten the two wooden slats with a screw at each of the four overlapping points (picture two). Watch out: You should still be able to move your construction so that you can align it perfectly in the next step.
Align the construction
You need: pocket rule, a helping hand
The slats need to be attached perpendicular to the crossbeams so that your privacy screen stands up straight when you’re finished.
To make sure this happens, measure the diagonal between the two ends of the crossbeams (the opposite corners of each). You’ll know you’ve got the 90-degree angle you need if the two diagonals are the same length.
Position additional wooden planks
You need: pocket rule, spacer, 7 wooden slats (100 x 20 mm), 2 m in length, wooden beam with a minimum length of 1,200 mm
Now, take the seven other wooden slats and lie them on the crossbeams as well, positioning them between the two slats you’ve already attached (picture one).
Push the slats to one side so they’re flush together and measure the ‘remaining’ distance between them and the fixed slat (picture two) – in our case this is about 100 mm.
Now, divide this distance by eight to work out the size of the gap you need to leave between each slat (12.5 mm) and use spacers to position them at the equidistant intervals required (picture three).
Once you’ve done that, you can use a normal wooden beam to easily push all the slats up to the same level height (picture four).
Screw the wooden slats to the frame
You can use the same beam again in the next step to mark the holes for the screws. Do this by positioning the beam above the attached crossbeam and marking two points on each slat (picture one).
Now, insert the screws into the marked positions to secure everything in place (picture two).
Design the front – attach the crossbeams
You need: pocket rule, g-clamps, 2 wooden beams made from Douglas fir (70 x 45 mm), torx screws (4 x 50 mm)
It’s now time to add a little glamour to your privacy screen by attaching a second layer of wooden slats to the front of it.
It’s up to you how many more slats you want to attach – it depends on how creative you’re feeling and how you’re going to use your privacy screen. In our case, we decided to go for an extra two-slat element and an extra three-slat element.
For the three-slat element, you first need to saw two addition wooden beams (70 x 45 mm) so that they are both 300 mm in length.
Then, position the beams on the front of the privacy screen (picture) perpendicular to the slats at a somewhat larger distance apart and screw them on tightly from behind with enough screws.
Design the front – attach the slats
Now, lie three wooden slats equidistant apart on the attached beams and make sure the bottom edges are level. You can use the example above to help guide you here. (Picture one).
Then, attach the slats using four screws for each one. (Picture two)
Repeat steps 6 and 7 to build a two-slat element. In this case, the short beams underneath the slats need to be 180 mm in length.
Saw the slats to size
In this last step, you can add a more personal touch to the design of your privacy screen.
Do this by using a NanoBlade saw or a traditional saw to shape the top ends of the wooden slats in whichever way you like. It’s completely up to you whether you want them all to be the same length, to vary in height or to form a wave.
But remember to sand all the edges after you’ve sawn them.
Connect the modules
You need: additional privacy screen modules
You’ve now built the first one-metre-wide privacy screen. The protruding crossbeams on both sides make it easy to add to the module, meaning you can follow the same process to build even more privacy screen walls and connect them together. This works as both a row and a corner, depending on what you need.
However, make sure that the crossbeams of the other modules are offset so that they can be slotted together and screwed together tightly at the end (see picture). It’ll then be easier for you to screw the individual modules together and expand your privacy screen to the size you want it.
Put your privacy screen together
You need: A plan!
Before you can enjoy your new-found privacy, you should think about how you’re going to secure your screen in place: There are, of course, different options depending on the conditions in your garden or on your patio. You can drill holes and screw it in place, stick it into the grass or even build a support so that it can stand freely.
Choose whichever option is best-suited to making your privacy screen stable.